Repairing Unsightly Walls: a DIY Project

If you’ve had to remove wallpaper or plaster, or simply removed an old piece of built-in storage and found an ugly, lumpy piece of wall underneath, you’ll be wondering how to repair or conceal it in such a way as to allow you some pride in your home. Hiring a plasterer to come and repair it for you is great, but if you haven’t the funds or simply don’t want to, there are several DIY options allowing you to make your wall less of an eyesore and more of a feature.

Sanding a wall down will help you even things out a little bit. Don’t forget to make sure all the dust is gone before you take the next step, however, as it can otherwise interfere with adhesives for wallpaper, paint, or even plaster. If your wall is as well-prepared as it can be, cleaning it with sugar soap (be sure to wear rubber gloves!) allows you to prepare the surface for the next step.

Heavy, textured wallpaper can hide a multitude of sins. To wallpaper, make sure you follow the instructions on the paper as well as those on the glue. An insufficiently thick mixture of glue and water will let go before it is dry, and a length of wallpaper which has not been soaked enough will equally have trouble staying on the wall. Renting, borrowing or buying a wallpaper table is definitely worth the effort as it will make your life a lot easier. Be sure you spread a polythene sheet over anything in the vicinity that shouldn’t get covered in wallpaper paste, as it can stain and sometimes be impossible to remove.

Learning to plaster yourself is well worth the time and effort if you have a house that will require a fair bit of plastering. However, if the wall in question is very prominent it may not be the best place to start. If you do have some rudimentary plastering skills or have the ability to practice somewhere out of the way, it will undoubtedly lead to the nicest finish.

Finally, for a wall that is simply not up to snuff, but can’t be taken down entirely and replaced with a new skim, you could consider wallpapering it with lining paper. This paper will take very well to any type of emulsion, so you will be able to paint over it easily and cheaply. Again, make sure you follow the instructions to the letter, and your lining paper will strengthen the wall sufficiently to let you paint it and use it as normal.

You don’t necessarily need a professional to turn an ugly or tired wall into something useable. Professionals will generally do the best job, but with these DIY methods you can transform an unsightly wall into a perfectly acceptable part of your home.